Tony Kemp ranged farther than any Astros outfielder this season to make a sliding catch
While the Astros' outfield typically features the likes of George Springer, Josh Reddick and Marwin Gonzalez, another player has been stealing a number of defensive highlights. Friday night's 7-3 win was just Tony Kemp's 18th game of the 2018 season, but he has made those appearances count.
In the bottom of the third, the Astros deployed a big shift against the Rangers' Ronald Guzman. Kemp was in left field, and the only other player on the left side was third baseman Alex Bregman, who was playing near the second-base bag around the normal shortstop position. This caused a problem when Guzman lifted a high popup down the left-field line in foul territory.
Bregman chased after it, but it was Kemp who caught it:
Now that's a sprint, and the ball's path didn't make the catch any easier.
"Sometimes when lefties mishit balls like that, it has that slice toward the left-field line," Kemp said after the game to MLB.com's Alyson Footer. "Once I went there and slid, the ball kind of stopped slicing and stayed true, so that's why I slid right and my glove went left. I was just happy to make the catch."
The play had a 64-percent chance catch probability, but Kemp's range is what made it special. He charged 121 feet from his position to make the catch, the longest distance covered by any Astros outfielder to make a catch this season -- and kicked up a nice dust cloud from his slide.
"When you run after a ball for that long, you definitely want to catch the ball, so I was just happy to get the out when I felt it in my glove," said Kemp. "It was funny because Bregman just said 'Wow.'"
It's not just Bregman who's impressed. That's superb hustle.